Life Lately – June

June has flown by, which is weird considering I’ve been out of the house a whole…one time! I’ve been very grateful for the, frankly shite, weather Manchester has had this month, as it’s been a well needed break from the crazy heatwave of May.

Pride Month

My love and respect goes out to the LGBTQ community as always, whatever your sexuality and however you identify. I’ve always been proud that I live in a city with year-round acceptance (in a general sense) and awareness. I think this is thanks to the The Gay Village, plus a great Pride Parade and festival.

Food

Been switching all month between having cups of tea with sausage and mash to having a cold beers and mezze.

Independent Artist or Business

GDBEE Art is by Geneva who makes the most gorgeous graphic art of women of colour. She’s also created the webtoon Hovergirls, about two alien fighting cousins who work in a coffee shop by day. The entire Hovergirls series is available to read on phone/device or PC.

Lifestyle

I’ve changed my bedroom from being the place where stuff gets dumped, into a place where I actually want to spend time. a) I’ve had a big clean and tidy b) I’ve brought in more storage c) Updated a dark toned LOTR poster to a lighter toned and very neat dragon canvas d) I’ve reduced the amount of Funko Pops and books/papers piled everywhere.

Reading

The Getaway Girls by Dee McDonald is roadtrip comedy about three rather different friends, all past middle age, who decide they are unhappy with their lot and want to start a new adventure through France and Italy. I’ll review it once I’ve finished reading. I’m a third of the way in and enjoying it!

New Fringe

I was sick of my giant wavy fringe which needed cutting constantly and was way too hot and wide. I watched Birds of Prey (which I loved, but thought the bad guy was just plain annoying) and cut myself a new punky, shorter fringe. Freshly cut it looks a little too perfect but it does naturally have a lot of movement and looks spikey if I apply styling putty.

Here is me as a kid in the 80’s with a very different kind of fringe lol

I hope you’ve all been finding things to make you happy, in these turbulent times!

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Pyjama-style Fashion

As seen on catwalks and in glossy magazines over the past several years, pyjama-style fashion is sticking around. It’s cool how items which look like PJ’s separately, can also look surprisingly smart when you put them together right.

I should have rolled the sleeves up for the first one though.

Shirt – Missguided

Cami – Boohoo

Palazzo Pants – Matalan

Sandals – Newlook

Earrings – Forage

Hair Clips – Claire’s

Scrunchy – Claire’s

I’d love to know, in these strange times have you managed to pull off wearing actual PJ’s outside and how did that go?

🖤✨Chrissie ✨🖤

Your Fave STYLE Photo’s from the Last 6 Months

Here’s another part of this little series and today it’s my style posts and photo’s which got the most likes on my Instagram and on this blog. The previous one was Food and the one before that was Lifestyle.

(Clockwise)

Outfit – EMP

Bag – Lumiliu

Top – charity shop, originally Boohoo; skirt and sandals – Newlook

Boots – Koi

Camo tee – my blokes, originally Army and Navy; trousers – Newlook

Biker Jacket – vintage

Boots – Newlook; Batwings – Koi; Tie dye tee – Brave Girl Official on Ebay Moomin tee – EMP; cardigan my Mams.

Which are your faves and what would you pair with some of these? I’m always up for suggestions!

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Through The Keyhole – Bohemian Accessories, Vintage Items and a Lot of Geekery

A lot like a teenager, the room that has 80% of my stuff in is my bedroom, since I’ve moved back in with family but and spend a lot of time at my boyfriends tiny flat, it’s all ended up back in here. Which, if like me, you have a terrible memory and don’t want to be going up and down stairs constantly to find and fetch things, is actually really convenient.

Dressing table which is in the shade so I just store vintage and modern jewellery/trinket boxes, perfume, nail varnish and trinket boxes.

An area that isn’t crowded, wow! Small amount of plushies (including a vintage E.T. Wonder Woman mini, Totoro, and Tiny Clanger); a print of Tourne Le Chat Noir by Rudolphe Salis and a vintage mirror.

Sparkly prisms on my wardrobe from an old blind; Llama draft excluder (on bed); vintage vases; shelves with various figures including Funko Pops, Tormund who I turned into a White Walker because I was bored, a troll doll who’s turned decidedly cyber punk over the years, crystals, Japanese style wooden dolls, books and alternative dolls (one’s a ghost, one’s a vampire and one just looks like she’s into BDSM).

The space on my desk was where I intended to blog and edit but I actually sit on the sofa with my laptop or iPad. The Zeplin was a great idea for iPods (which no one has anymore) but luckily I can use a lead to plug in my tablet and listen to Spotify.

Publicity shot of Richard Dean Anderson, vintage light, pinboard with cards/post cards and broken but pretty jewellery, more books, more Funko (don’t judge me on buying the shit version of The Joker, I liked his outfit), vintage pineapple vase.

DVD’s of old favourites, which I do still watch and a bloody big (gifted) dragon canvas.

What are your fave cute or cool things and do you have anything similar?

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Sneak a Peak Into My Kitchen to See What Vegetarians Who Are Gluten and Dairy Free Really Eat!

I’ll be showing you what’s in my cupboards and freezer in a moment but first, a little context…

I think because the majority of food that the UK produces is milk and wheat based, it’s easy to think there isn’t anything else. All you have to do is look at other cultures and continents, Asia being a specifically apt example, to realise there is so much choice! Coconut milk instead of cows milk; gram (chickpea) flour instead of wheat flour and pea protein or tofu (bean curd) instead of meat are three of my most used swaps.

Pantry

(Clockwise)

Coop Free From noodles – I add chopped up veggie sausages and tomato pasta sauce with added tomato paste to make Spaghetti Bolognase.

Nairn’s Wholegrain Crackers – Much crunchier than original oat cakes

Grano Vita Mock Duck – Apparently it can be eaten cold on a sarnie or hot with your Sunday lunch but not tried it yet so take take my word for it!

Asda Free From Fiery Chilli Rice Noodle Pot – These are perfect for when you need something really quick.

Alpro Hazelnut – OMG this has to be the best milk substitute ever.

Pine nuts – Adds crunch and flavour to pasta with red or green.

Amy’s Kitchen Chunky Tomato Soup – I cannot believe this is dairy free and it is even richer with nutritional yeast flakes added for a cheesy/creamy flavour.

Free and Easy Chickpea and Lentil Curry – I’m glad they haven’t called this Daal because it doesn’t taste like the authentic Indian curry, more like a Mexican dish but it is lovely and very filling.

Tesco Free From Red Pesto – (I often get Saccla brand as well) for spaghetti bolagnaise or pizza.

(Out of shot)

Huge bag of rice, Genius Seeded Loaf.

Snack Cupboard

(Clockwise)

Kettle Chips, Sheese and Red Onion – I could eat these ALL day!

Eat Real, Lentil Chips, Chilli & Lemon – I love how chunky these are and that you get a robust flavour from the lentils along with the added zingy flavour.

Kind bars (just seen) – These are made of different kinds of nuts held together with dark chocolate, peanut butter or (contains dairy) caramel. Gives me lots of energy quickly.

Roasted Salted Peanuts – Great to put into Satay Sauce or Nasi Goreng Indonesian Chilli Salad or a Waldorf salad but also great to snack on while drinking beer. Cheers!

Pom-bear – Does anyone else buy a huge bag of these when on self-catering holidays abroad?

Tesco, Free From Onion Rings – So much better than those little 20p bags you used to get as a kid. I’m quite gobsmacked by them being free-from actually.

Ten Acre, The Story Of When The Cheese Met The Onion – Apart From the highly pretentious and, let’s face, weird tittle, these are delicious! You won’t believe they are dairy free. Their Pastrami flavour is fantastical well.

Freezer

(Clockwise)

Linda McCartney’s Rosemary and Red Onion Sausages – Not the best veggie sausages but certainly not the worst I’ve had, these are lovely with gravy; not so much for a sausage butty with brown sauce though.

Applewood Vegan Smokey Cheese – Wow! How on earn does a vegan cheese taste this good!? It even grates and melts perfectly.

Oomph! Kebab Strips – The best meat alternative I’ve ever found.

Deliciously Ella, Cauliflower and Lentil Dahl – Nope! Lovely flavour but tastes more like a mild Thai curry made with coconut milk. Tiny for the price but I like them breakfast/lunch on colder days.

Quorn, Comforting Cottage Pie – I add a bit of tomato or HP sauce and have this with steamed veggies.

Amy’s Kitchen, Veggie Lasagne – I add a tiny bit of Sriracha sauce and nutritional yeast to this. Really nice with the spinach inside.

McCains, Potato Smiles – Crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. 😊

What do use as substitutions and/or what tinned or packet ingredients do you mix together to make a meal? Have you tried any of these and do you have any recommendations?

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

How I’ve Brought More Colour Into My Wardrobe – Part 2, Styling Tips, Tops & Jewellery

As I mentioned in part one of this post, since the start of the year, I’ve been on a mish to slowly replace darker coloured items with more upbeat and vibrant one’s. I’m mixing and matching so not chucking owt out, unless it’s seen (much) better days.

What if you tend to stick to basics though?

Well, from the start I decided that all of my colourful clothes would be basics! I build the outfit around them by adding neutral colours. A camisole/vest top can dress up anything (like jeans and trainers) and a tee can dress things down (like maxi skirts or fitted pants). Then you have that band tee, maxi skirt and trainers combo, which I love on others but haven’t tried yet.

The Accessories Rules

I was finding that including bright accessories too was a bit confusing so decided on these rules.

  1. Pick a bright accessory, either the same colour as your outfit or a flattering, contrasting colour that subtly ties in somewhere else (like blue dress and yellow bag with gold jewellery).
  2. Wear several bright accessories but only with a neutral coloured outfit (greys and neons look awesome together)
  3. Have bags, belts and shoes in metallic silver, gold and rose gold, which are fancy neutrals.

Here’s the original top that inspired the idea. I’d love to know what this pattern stitch is called?

Ideally Summer is like….

But honestly, it’s more like this…

But when this Covid craziness is mostly over, I’ll be going out more, as well as wanting to look more cheerful indoors.

(From top – bottom)

1st Column

Stay Wild Moon Child tee – Bellelily (an Insta add which reeled me in!)

Nirvana tee – EMP

Sakura unicorn tee – Tokidoki

Tiger racer back vest – Brave Soul London

2nd Column

Butterfly tunic (cropped into vest) – Joe Browns

Orange camisole – Boohoo

Grungy tie dye tee – Veronica Fever (Ebay)

Tie dye racer-back camisole – Persephone Apparel (Etsy)

3rd Column

Lime green vest – Not a clue!? Either I was drunk or half asleep when I ordered this, ha! (Edit) Really versatile day-night item as it turns out, yay!

Neon tie dye tee – Brave Girl Official (Ebay)

Teal green tee (cut into tank) – EMP

Most of these earrings are from Claire’s Accessories apart from the owls which were a gift, the blue and silver raindrop ones were from EMP, the pink drop earrings I made from guitar plectrums and the peace sign earrings I got from Moss-side Caribbean Carnival.

Being able to pick a colourful item of clothing and accessory each morning is making such a difference to my moods, especially on dull days. I look forward to getting up and getting dressed now, rather than it being a chore.

As always, I hope this has given you some ideas and inspiration or you’ve simply enjoyed having a nosey at my stuff. ✌🏽🤘🏽

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Your Fave FOOD Photo’s From The Last 6 Months

(Clockwise)

Veggie black pudding with beetroot sauce and salad from Vertigo, Mcr.

Gf Seeded Nairn’s crackers with vegan Flora, Violife original ‘cheese’ and green olives and capers.

Veggie stew of everything from the back of the cupboard, the fridge and the freezer.

Mashed spud made with vegan Flora, Linda McCarneys gf Red onion and Rosemary sausages, green beans and peas with Bisto (happens to be gf) caramelised onion gravy.

Salad with Original Tofoo and tamari (gf soy sauce).

Salad with Smoked Tofoo, Gosh! falafel and Siriacha sauce.

Oomph! Kebab Strips, rice, pea and sweetcorn with chilli oil.

Smoked Tofoo covered in toasted sesame oil and grilled, with Helmans mayo and 1/3 tin of Co-op mixed bean spicy salad.

(Centre)

Gosh! Falafel and Violife White Block (taste and consistency of goats cheese not feta) salad with home made hummus (lots of tahini and olive oil).

I hope this has given you some ideas for simple and tasty veggie and gluten/dairy free food. 😋

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Black Owned Brands & Bands inc. Rock, Hip-hop, Alternative Apparel & Cruelty-free beauty

🖤 Black Rock/Metal Playlist by Nova Twins

🖤 I personally recommend the whole back-catalogue of Skunk Anansie

🖤 2020 – 2021 Black Rap and Hiphop Playlist by Red Music

🖤 General Black Owned Business Directory

🖤 Cruelty-free, Vegan Beauty and Lifestyle List by Vegan Beauty

🖤 Cruelty-free Beauty and Lifestyle List by Logical Harmony

🖤 Hair and wellness family owned brand. Cruelty-free and vegan,

🖤 Alternative Style and Makeup

  • Glam Goth Beauty
  • We Are Unapologetic
  • Gothic Lamb
  • Coloured Raine Cosmetics
  • Jada Le Bour
  • Pocky’s Shoppe
  • Hooked On Ariel
  • Via Shea
  • A Whole New Witch
  • 6t9
  • Candles With Purpose

🖤 Kawaii and Alternative Styles

(compiled by @foxxtailz on Instagram)

  • Otaq Apparel
  • Polka dot Cute Shop
  • Magical Boys Club
  • Dragon Dandy
  • Teal Teacup
  • Moshi Melon
  • Plushii Kawaii
  • Hard Decora
  • I Puke Kawaii

(compiled by @yasminesumman on Instagram)

  • That’s So Kitschy
  • Default Club
  • Charmin Darlin
  • Hissyfit Clothing
  • Maurio Kart (death metal shirts especially)
  • House Of Bats

Happy shopping and listening!

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Your Fave LIFESTYLE Photo’s from the Last 6 Months

I post a selection of photo’s from this blog onto my Instagram and share a few general images everyday. Come follow me if you don’t already @vamp_it_up_mcr

I’ve gone through which photos got the most likes (on Insta) and divided them up into four categories, Lifestyle, Style, Food and er, Me!

Lifestyle

(Clockwise)

Gap Between Buildings When you walk down Whitworth Street heading to Oxford Road, you cross over a tiny bridge without realising and that’s the view of the canal and swanky apartments to your left.

Baby Jay I’ve only ever seen a Jay twice before so this little’un sitting right outside the window was lovely surprise.

Sorting my makeup and storage I chucked out anything old or crap and arranged everything here into one bag and base coverage and tools/brushes into a wicker basic. I indulged my left over OCD traits and lined up everything colourful for this photo; so satisfying!

Pins I have so many pins I have to rotate them on bags and coats. I need to make space on my pin board to display them all properly.

Skincare Routine After setting myself he challenge to get healthier skin in one month, I narrowed down my products to these and found a consistent routine and it worked!

Street Art This is a very old photo of the side of a block at the start of The Northern Quarter. The beautiful art (subject now replaces by Mcr bees) is by Faunagraphic who’s responsible for all of the nature inspired, pastel or brushstroke effect street-art in town. Check out that pretty fire-escape too.

Narwhals Narwhals Swimming In The Ocean (the pre-curser to the baby shark song) My Bloke got me these slippers last Xmas.

Bench In Our Tiny Backyard All my Dads work. I offer to help with our yard but he always refuses as he loves doing it so much. He’s like me, if he gets an idea in his mind, he knows exactly how he wants it. I’m not arguing as it comes out looking lovely every time ^_^

(Centre)

Sustainable (what used to be referred to as Eco) Purchases I got everything here from an online shop called Ecologue. Metal flask, really light but efficient; Bamboo toothbrush, the most comfortable one I’ve ever used and biodegradable; Cleansing pads, also made from bamboo and machine washable!

As always I’d love to hear your thoughts…

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

How I’ve Brought More Colour into My Wardrobe – Part 1, Reasons and Replacements

I’ll always be a mixture of hippy chick and urban Emo at heart but at the start of the year I noticed that somehow, the Emo part of my wardrobe had totally taken over. Black, grey, black, and more black. Lots of awesome items but hardly a cheerful boost to my mental health on overcast days (meaning the weather and/or my mood).

I’ve tried to match new items for old items in a general sort of way. I’ve kept most things but given some items to charity that weren’t working for me anymore, mostly due to my changing sensory issues: Too hot, too tight, too sloppy, too short etc.

On the left is the brighter item and on the right is the original.

Velour top from Cotton Traders (very Stifflers Mum or the Mum with the dog in Mean Girls I know, ha!).

I bought this from an Insta add I was bombarded with from Coralinlin.com and it’s the perfect length and has adjustable straps.

I bought this boxy (but still long enough) jumper in a light green as well, from Peacocks.

I found this pre-loved jumper on Ebay. I call it my Fraggle jumper.

This gorgeous cream shirt is from Missguided and has bat wing sleeves that magically disappear when you lower your arms, thanks to clever pleats.

In summer I live in soft Palazzo pants and wide PJ bottoms, which are almost the same item anyway, right? These are from Matalan and are a great length but not crazily high-waisted (like a lot of pants these days).

Another basic item from Matalan, I’ll be wearing this with all of my black band tees.

Colourful tops and jewellery, along with some useful tips are here in part 2

I know this is a very light and basic post but I wanted to share my cheerful lifestyle idea (you could replace/add colourful homeware or stationary, rather than clothes etc.) for anyone who’s feeling down at the moment. *hugs* 🤗

I’ve just heard about a page on Insta @mymonthincolour where you tag any photos of your home or colourful items you’ve bought and they feature their favourites.

🌈Chrissie🌈